Kidney Vetch is a playful, short-lived perennial with shocking red flowers that come in clusters much like clover. Low, spreading plant that hugs the ground, all the better to see the piercing red flowers on this form. Seeds prolifically, and the seedlings are both easy to identify as well as move or dispatch. To 3″ tall by 18″ wide, when very happy. Loved by pollinators. Forms a vivid patch of color in the most unlikely places. Seeds germinate in autumn and bloom commences in spring. Excellent little nitrogen-fixing temporary plant for new gardens. Enriches soil in a wonderful way. Light to little summer water. Mediterranean.
Curious and rare coastal native plant that can be found in permanently wet sites. This gives you a clue about how to grow this striking little pea. Wide stretching arms deliver pink and yellow flowers in clusters at the tips. Blooms April to July. Native along the immediate coast from the Bay Area in California north to British Columbia. Never common in its range. Stream banks, seeps, the margins of ponds for full sun and perpetually moist soil. Excellent for use in rain gardens (bioswales). Often short lived in gardens where it is dry. You must supply constant moisture. To 8″ tall by 4′ wide. Oregon native plant.
Incredibly tough and beautiful deciduous shrub that is fantastic all summer with a continuous supply of spikes of deep pink pea flowers all summer. To 7′ x 5′ in 5 years in average to rich soil (where it will grow MUCH larger) and light summer water. Very drought adapted when established. Flowers are produced on new wood (growth from the current season) and as the plant grows it continually blooms. Loved by pollinators and it attracts the very coolest butterflies. Vivid flower color pairs well with dark foliaged plants. It may be cut back hard in early spring when established to provide more blooming wood, or to check the size. Very cold hardy. Purple Indigo. Moderate deer resistance.
One of the great joys of spring. Vernal Pea erupts in a fountain of blue/purple/magenta pea flowers for many weeks in spring. New foliage and flowers emerge simultaneously in early spring but blooming continues for an extended period. As the plant expands it becomes a 2′ x 2′ round mound. Following flowers the deep green foliage remains handsome through summer. Full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water. Very, very long lived perennial. Not often available in great quantities as it is raised by seed and our crop is dependent on the viability of each years seed set. Very easy to grow. Not bothered by slugs/snails. Mix with early spring ephemerals, bulbs, Hellebores. Nice small cut flower.